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Heartwarming / Akira Maeda

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  • The ending of his legendary match against Tatsumi Fujinami. Yes, the one in which Maeda accidentally busted him open with a misguided heel kick. After they work the match back to its course, which would be a Moment of Awesome on his own, Maeda and Fujinami kick each other in the head so hard that it is a Double Knockout. When they got up, Akira said to the mic that, after badmouthing Fujinami for years, he had finally found respect for him and the rest of the NJPW wrestlers, and that the war among the shoot-style stable and the traditionalist home army is over.
    "I believed myself to be alone. I believed to live in a deserted island. But this night, that has changed. This night, I have found out that there are brothers here."
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  • After the first UWF dissolved, Giant Baba offered a hefty pay to Maeda to join All Japan Pro Wrestling. However, when Akira found out that only him and Takada would be contracted while the rest of their companions would be left to their luck, he declined the offer and returned with them to New Japan, despite knowing it would bring him heat with Inoki.
  • When Maeda first tried to establish RINGS, he discovered that finding people for his company was more difficult than he had thought. His only hope was his friend Chris Dolman and his trainees, but he was told that Dolman was already being contacted by New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Dolman was left with the choice to follow Maeda or Inoki, so he went to his master Jon Bluming to ask his opinion. Bluming, being the kind of guy he is, only told him the story of The 47 Ronin. Maeda had almost gave up, but then Dolman approached him and supposedly told him:
    "Even if we are left to only you and me, believe me, you shall not relinquish your dreams. From now, we are the creating force of RINGS."
    • After Maeda beat Dolman in the latter's retirement match, he snuck fastly out of the ring and even tried to shut down the "Maeda!" chants in order not to take the spotlight from Chris's retirement ceremony.
  • Maeda congratulating his old enemy Riki Choshu in the latter's retirement ceremony in 1997.
  • After Maeda saw his former understudy Masakatsu Funaki submitting Maurice Smith in a AJKF event, he told press that, for the first time, and despite his former comments trying to put his former promotion in his past, he regretted that UWF folded, as he was so proud of Funaki.
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  • Maeda's retirement in 1998. After working a match against Yoshihisa Yamamoto so badly that the crowd even disagreed with his decision win, Maeda received a retire ceremony hosted by all the important people in his career: Takada, Inoki, Fujiwara, Yamazaki, random guys like Genichiro Tenryu, Animal Hamaguchi, Junji Hirata Note , Maeda's beloved trainer Kotetsu Yamamoto, and even his old opponent Don Nakaya Nielsen.
  • At the 2005 interview between Maeda and Satoru Sayama, when Sayama talked about how the Shooto factions ousted him from the company after he had built it and made the impossible for it to survive, Maeda asserted it had been an unscrupulous move by them, and that he had experimented similar problems with the RINGS teams. Akira also acknowledged Sayama's work in MMA, and went to say that despite all their years long enmity, they still had beautiful memories.

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